Yesterday, officials from Bon Secours, the Mayor’s office, City Council, and CHAT got together to talk about how they got to where they were right now—digging shovels into the dirt next to the old Parsley’s on Nine Mile.
The building, which is now an empty shell, will by this fall house an 1,100 square-foot commercial kitchen, a 1,250 square-foot coffee shop run by CHAT neighborhood youth, and a 900 square-foot group health and community room. All will be open to the community, who will get a chance to attend group-based health and wellness therapies as well as organize neighborhood groups within the shared space.
Toni R. Ardabell, Bon Secours’s CEO opened the ceremony with words about her organization’s commitment to neighborhood health that extends beyond their hospital doors. Parsley’s Center will be the first significant capital investment on the Nine Mile Road corridor in many years.
Said Percy Strickland of CHAT, “The students, staff and families of CHAT are so excited for what this partnership means for our community and especially the youth that we seek to equip and serve,” says Percy Strickland, founder and CEO, Church Hill Activities & Tutoring. “It will be a launching pad for many of our youth, and a space for our students and the community to grow together and show their talents. It will be a friendly gathering space as well as a place where we say goodbye as our students take their place in the world. We are very thankful for this opportunity and this partnership.” Strickland made the connection that today’s youth are tomorrow’s adults—and the availability of part-time work for either is less than optimal. CHAT’s coffee shop will not only employ young East Enders, but will give them the training they need to be considered for other positions as well.
Below are the detailed renderings for Parsley’s Center for Healthy Communities, which is scheduled to be open in September 2016.